Galaxy Note 10 Deal: BOGO at Verizon!
  1. o4komodo's Avatar
    User background:
    Long time Nokia fan.
    First WP was the L920, coming from the N8.
    Switched to 1520.
    L1520.3 screen broke, further problems arose.
    Needed new 'temporary' phone.
    House broken into. L920 got stolen (along with other things).
    Bought the 830.

    Purchase experience:
    During the week of the release in Canada, October 17th, I went to countless stores at different malls to find information (Rogers, Telus, Bell, Fido, Wow, Wireless Wave,T-Booth and even Microsoft) however none of the stores knew about the phone's existence. I was contemplating on purchasing the L830 or the L635 Fido Prepaid Package Bundle. Come October 16th I was able to purchase the L830 a day early at Wireless Wave from Fairview Mall. The phone was $79.99 on Fido on a 2 year tab agreement, that is $20 less than Fido's current price.
    The strange thing is… the L830 to this day is still not officially released in "all stores", in fact, Nokia/Microsoft Canada still has the L830 as "coming soon" on it's official website. Strange.

    Found that not many stores offer accessories for the L830. Wireless Wave had the Ghost Shield or Zagg or whatever it was again, I purchased that on the same day. On the 18th I purchased a "skin/TPU case" at Telus---who did not know about the phones release (or even knew they had accessories).
    Over all, pleased with my purchases… but sad with how this phone is being handled.

    In the (Fido) box:
    Standard papers.
    Phone.
    Battery.
    Green and black cover.

    USB wall adapter.
    USB cable.


    Initial design+hardware reactions:
    This phone is amazing to hold! The size is extremely comfortable. It's a great size and a great compromise to the size of the L920 and the L1520. The camera is unobtrusive. The side buttons, however, are "weak" and a little too flush. With the TPU case on, I find myself lowering volume instead of raising it. Sound quality is amazing EXCEPT for the standard top speaker (the one you place against your ear). If there was one issue I am bothered by this phone is the low volume of the speaker… even on max it's incredibly weak. Almost hard to hear at times. The loud speaker, however, is magnificent. It's quite loud. The green color is fantastic, I was always a black/dark grey phone kind of guy.Then moved to white for the L920 and L1520. It's too bad I don't have the orange cover to fit this fall season. The speed of the phone is great, only seemed to lag occasionally in certain apps (like Mixradio where it would delay reading my music library on start-up). The battery life is great, being removable is also a plus as I used to love carrying around extra batteries (a great compromise to carrying around a portable charger--which I also have). Sim and MicroSD are easy to access. No problems there either.

    Design+hardware Reaction after 2.5 weeks:
    I still think the phone is amazing to hold and use everyday. It's still very comfortable, the perfect size. The phone still feels as speedy as day one. Buttons are still slightly annoying in the TPU case but slowly getting used to that. Can never get used to the low speaker volume (in call). Especially when outside. Started finding issues with the battery though. Sometimes the phone will go in to battery saver mode from "being critically low". After it dies from not charging it in time and having it reboot----the phone displays 35% or even more battery life still available. Occasionally, the phone will also display it as still charging (when it is not). Minor inconveniences (that do not happen too often). After trying to retrieve the MicroSD card… I found it was practically impossible. There's a little lip or something inside the MicroSD slot that makes pulling the card out extremely difficult. I found that I had to stick a sheet of paper underneath the card to help while I lifted and pulled on the card lightly with my nail/finger. After further use, I've started to realize that the internal memory doesn't feel very much. In fact, it probably isn't much at all---so if you do not have a MicroSD card then you have to be quite aware of what apps you install as they stack up very fast.
    The phone seemed to have been able to handle games alright, but then again… I don't play much games on the device.
    My game list comprises of Frozen: Free Fall, Hexic, 2048 and Metal Slug. My 1520 had a larger abundance of games (many which I stopped playing).
    Also, I've started noticing how overly-sensitive the screen on the L830 is. I used to have the 'accidental tap' from the L1520 [which was eventually resolved via update]. But it's even worse on the L830. There are many times where I'm scrolling and it would tap or even double tape for me. Sometimes I haven't moved or lifted my finger from the screen and it would register as a tap or two. Minor inconvenience which is an easy fix via updates.


    Initial camera reactions:
    Although I don't have great camera examples… I must say. The camera is quite splendid! I was pretty impressed with the L920 and I feel this is much better.The images appear shop and crisp. Had no complaints.


    Camera reaction after 2.5 weeks:
    After a while of actually using the camera I found that Nokia Camera is flawed on this "Pureview" device. And I say flawed… because I cannot reframe photos as I would with the L1520. The feature to zoom in--then later zoom back out--is gone. While the zoom is pretty good.. It will actually keep zooming(appears to zoom just as far or further than the L1520) BUT it gets incredibly blurry. It doesn't stop when it's at it's focal point. Strange. I assume I have to wait for the big update coming to Nokia Camera to see the fixes to these issues.

    Recording videos is still great though. Zoom works well and it focuses relatively fast. It's 10mp but it still zooms in as far as the L1520 would, it seems. Which is… odd (but good). Yet somehow it still retains a good level of clarity. I found that the colors are on the cool side, the white balance could also be off… as I was recently a ta Lights concert recording and the red Lights were coming up practically orange. Or muted red/orange. Which was good in it's on way as it made Lights easier to see on camera (as she would've essentially been a red figure).
    Here are two samples of the stage at Lights on the L830:


    Note that this one is supposed to be "red":


    Now here are samples of the stage at Banks on the L1520.
    The stage was EXTREMELY DARK---darkest stage setting I've ever seen.




    Here's a photo in the super-market parking lot with relatively good lighting.
    (I like to take photo of d-bag-parkers and compile albums about them).

    Here's a video on my Onedrive to see the L830 at the Lights concert:
    http://1drv.ms/1yTh5fg
    Here's a video on my Onedrive to see the L1520 at the Banks convert. Note how the L1520 keeps the"red" in the lights where as the L830 came out orange in the previous photo.
    http://1drv.ms/10iRn7E
    Here's a video on my Youtube to see the L1520 at a Lana concert for comparison. Not quite the same environment though:

    The front facing camera's 0.9mp does a decent job of capturing the subject in front of it. It just perfectly fits one person into the frame… so don't expect to be pulling any Ellen selfies here.


    Initial software reaction:
    Seemed the same as Cyan, forgot it was on Denim. Didn't notice any big differences in terms of speed or design (aside from the new colors added to the start+theme profiles).
    Oh, wait, there is the addition of Cortana to Canadians. I didn't think much of her.

    Software reaction after 2.5 weeks:
    OKAY DENIM IS FREAKING AWESOME. I never used the transparent backgrounds before on Cyan or 8.1 in general. I noticed, on the start screen there was a tile for "Music+Videos". I clicked it… and it's basically a live-folder-tile that shows all the live-tiles in the folder and keeps them as live tiles. It flips between the sizes from small, medium and large (depending on how big you set up the folder). I don't recall seeing WPCentral talking about this feature,or maybe I did and forgot. So I wasn't sure on how to create this folder. After quick thinking and playing around (and logic) I realized that if you held one tile over another it creates a folder, just like in iOS. The live-folder-tile is a transparent tile. You're also able to arrange the tiles inside the live-folder just as you would with the standard-home-screen. It's amazing.





    As just stated, I never used transparent background/tiles because I never had a background photo I liked to use that would flow with my tile layout. But with the new transparent-live-folder-tile (maybe it's old---probably is, but it's not on my L1520 with what it claims to be latest firmware--as well as my buddy's L1020). I was able to utilize the transparent tile and background and I've never been more pleased. My screen went from "three pages" to "one and a half pages". I showed my friend, who I convinced to buy the L1020, and is now dreading for the day he can get Denim.
    For comparison here is my start screen from my L1520 vs my L830


    After some time,I've come to realize that Cortana is actually quite dang useful. The speech recognition appears to have been improved over WP8. I drive a lot and I'm always using the speech-to-text and text-to-speech (is that what it's called?Lol). Prior to Cortana, on the L920 and L1520 they seemed good… but not great. With Cortana (and Denim) things are much improved. There's actually an option to choose for "foreigners" or people who do not speak English natively. I haven't tested the difference between this option on and off as I keep it on.
    Cortana in the car is much more "human". When she reads back to your received texts---or the texts you wrote---she will say different lines from time to time (rather than one predetermined response all the time). This makes you feel like you're actually interacting with a virtual assistance. I haven't tested the other voice features on WP8 but on Cortana everything just works---given that you have a good connection to the server. Commands such as " Drive me to…" will have Cortana search for the location/store. In situations where there are multiple places she will give you a list and you may respond with "number 3" and the 3rd option will be chosen effortlessly. Here Drive+ will load and the guidance boots up with no problems. To my surprise,she pronounces foreign names almost spot on. Commands like "Text Minh Hoang" or "Text Sean Douangchantha" or "Text Mina Nguyen" are also effortless as she takes little to no time to find these contacts. I'm very impressed. There are times, however, where she cannot recognize what I'm saying despite being as articulate as I can. In certain circumstances you'll have to change your entire sentence structure and use of words to get the message you are trying to dictate. Furthermore, if you cannot establish a good connection to the server… you're in for a very annoying time.You'll receive confirmation of trying to send a text such as "I will best best best best best to the cart start my way see" (yes that was a real message that Cortana thought I said, under bad connection--I was trying to say"I will be on my way to the gas station see you there.")

    Overall reaction:
    Extremely pleased with the L830. It truly is an "affordable flagship". It feels like a premium device (with premium features). As stated, my only gripe with the phone is the low-in-call-speaker. It's just really annoying. I'm able to live and deal with the inability to reframe images as I would on the L1520--but that's okay because the L830 takes photos at it's best when it's in full frame anyway.
    I bought this phone as a temporary phone to use until my L1520 gets fixed (I have to send it to the states as no Nokia certified facilities are even allowed to touch this phone as it is not sold in Canada). However, I've been so pleased with how functional and comfortable this phone is that I feel I may just use this everyday and pull out my L1520 on special occasions.

    So, would I recommend this phone? Yes and no.
    I'd personally recommend the Icon/L930 as it's in the same size-range but features more. Plus you'll be able to find it for a reasonable price---just a tad more than the L830. I'd also recommend the L1520 (if you're okay with using a plus-sized-device). I'd even recommend the L1020 for photo-heavy-users (the hardware on the L1020 is still pretty good even).
    But, if you cannot get any of the aforementioned phones… or need a secondary/all-rounder/daily phone then yes the L830 is a great buy.
    Last edited by o4komodo; 11-04-2014 at 02:37 PM.
    11-04-2014 01:44 PM
  2. Roger Deep's Avatar
    You could write a book on the 830. Damn!

    Well, I get really good pictures from the 830 and I too agree that this is a premium device.

    Just tell me, curious about it, how do you live in Canada and your phone was stolen??? It does not simply apply to Canada.
    11-07-2014 07:36 AM
  3. pandhersaab27's Avatar
    hey man its problem with some units, earpiece speaker is muffled and gives a very low distorted sound, mine first one from fido had the same problem but I got it replaced and new one is absolutely fine:) get it replaced if you can.
    11-07-2014 06:46 PM
  4. vinscg's Avatar
    I just received my 830 from Fido..its awesome...but I'm not sure about the incall speaker
    dit: Its fine.
    Last edited by vinscg; 11-08-2014 at 10:18 PM.
    11-07-2014 07:10 PM
  5. kshitij1991's Avatar
    Can you post the pics of phone with both black and green back plates?
    11-09-2014 03:10 AM
  6. o4komodo's Avatar
    You could write a book on the 830. Damn!

    Well, I get really good pictures from the 830 and I too agree that this is a premium device.

    Just tell me, curious about it, how do you live in Canada and your phone was stolen??? It does not simply apply to Canada.
    Hahah I love my Nokias =]
    Definitely agreed. This 830 feels just as good as any high end Nokia phone I've ever had. Very impressed!
    Quite honestly I don't know how it happened, in Canada, but it did... =[
    They kicked in the front door and ransacked the house. They only stole electronics. Didn't even touch any of my watches (or the landlords jewelry). What annoys me is they stole my Macbook Air but not the gaming laptop that was right beside it. They stole my L920 and my Purity HD but not the case of 10 watches beside it. Just... why?
    Even more weird is they stole my roommates PS3 controller--but not the PS3, or the second controller also beside it.
    Or that they stole 2 random PS2 and 3 random PS3 games from the landlord's son.
    Boggles my mind.

    hey man its problem with some units, earpiece speaker is muffled and gives a very low distorted sound, mine first one from fido had the same problem but I got it replaced and new one is absolutely fine:) get it replaced if you can.
    Yeah I heard some international models had this issue, when I read other reviews. Will definitely get mine replaced. It's definitely replaceable, it falls under Nokia's warranty. Thanks for the heads up though!

    I just received my 830 from Fido..its awesome...but I'm not sure about the incall speaker
    dit: Its fine.
    Glad you're enjoying the L830! It's a wonderful device =] Wish mine was problem free from the start lol.
    Minor inconveniences.

    Can you post the pics of phone with both black and green back plates?
    Yeah I'll get that for you in a bit, stay tuned!
    11-09-2014 04:55 PM
  7. o4komodo's Avatar
    Can you post the pics of phone with both black and green back plates?























    Interestingly enough... the black cover, for me, was easier to put on than the green one. This is the first time the black went on my phone too (and I guess I'll keep it black for a while)
    Last edited by o4komodo; 11-09-2014 at 10:41 PM.
    raqball and gurrala74 like this.
    11-09-2014 06:04 PM
  8. kshitij1991's Avatar
    thanks for pics
    11-15-2014 03:44 AM
  9. nessinhaw's Avatar
    about the overly sensitive screen, have you tried lowering screen sensitivity to normal?

    mine was on high and it would act weird too lol but everything is perfect :)
    11-15-2014 04:23 PM
  10. o4komodo's Avatar
    thanks for pics
    You're welcome!

    about the overly sensitive screen, have you tried lowering screen sensitivity to normal?

    mine was on high and it would act weird too lol but everything is perfect :)
    Good point! I'll give it a try... but I enjoyed the high sensitivity on my L920 and L1520.
    Just hoping there will be an update that helps fix the insanely-overly-sensitive screen =]

    Update 1: Today I was roaming around the mall (Yorkdale) and decided to pay Microsoft a visit. They recently just got in the new CP-627 flip covers. YES. So... I bought one. Then later, I bought the other color. I hate, absolutely hate, removing plastic film. I'm one of those people who likes to keep it on until it "naturally" falls off.
    But... the plastic film made the loud-speaker really muffled. Strange considering it's not very thick. Upon removing it... I figured I'd look at my in-call-speaker-thing. The film/screen protector from iShieldz was covering the mic. I peeled that little section off and what-do-you-know?! My in-call-speaker is actually quite loud. The entire time it was just being muffled by the screen protector. (haven't had this issue with other phones).

    Update 2: The flip case gets dirty sort of fast. Especially with my hands, since I'm an automotive tech--my hands aren't always 100% clean. This thing will need to be cleaned and maintained.

    Update 3. I love the flip case but then realized I don't get side or top/bottom protection anymore... so I improvised and cut up my TPU case to accommodate the flip cover. The TPU case is slightly too small since the flip cover has a slightly bigger bulge [due to the flip cover] but it's not too noticeable. I also cut a small section for the volume rocker to help. Using the volume is better now... but still feels sort of flimsy. Note that there is no Nokia branding on the back of the cover--only the top-front-center.

    So, the only issue I have with the L830 right now is the lack of 'shoot first zoom later' feature. But there's an update coming that will also allow for RAW support so hopefully the zoom feature will be back.

    Here are pics of the new case, in orange. (I also have the green. No pics)
















    hcrick likes this.
    11-15-2014 10:23 PM
  11. ven07's Avatar
    Nice review!! I still can't get over your excitement at finding out about the live folders and realizing that cortana is actually useful.. Other then that if i was looking into buying the 830 your review would definitely be a big help!
    11-15-2014 10:47 PM

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